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Russia warns US on response to Magnitsky bill

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-27 19:32

MOSCOW - Russia could take asymmetrical response to the approval of the Magnitsky bill by the United States, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

The enactment of the Magnitsky law will cast a shadow on Russia-US relations, and "an asymmetrical response will follow" by the Russian side, said the diplomat.

It was too early to say what measures Russia would take, but the US should think about the consequences following the bill's passing by the Senate, Ryabkov told reporters.

Moscow was anger at the continuing US legislation procedure on the bill despite its repeated signals given about these "counterproductive steps," Ryabkov said, adding that Russia hopes the common sense will triumph and US lawmakers could think over the results.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday passed the bill named after a Russian lawyer on charge of tax evasion who died 2009 during his one-year detention after accusing officials of mass tax fraud.

The bill would impose visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials over the case that the US accused of human rights violations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously called the lawyer's death a tragedy and said Moscow would take tit-for-tat measures if the bill is passed.

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